Friday, May 25, 2018

#0011 "Cherubs"

I would have just turned 18 and was about to go into Grade Thirteen at the Brockville Collegiate and Vocational School - BCIVS. I was also a yard keeper at St Lawrence Lodge. 
This painting is from a wood carving owned by Mario Airomi. Mario said something about this being a copy of a famous work but I honestly forget the details. A cherub is traditionally a winged angelic being described in biblical terms as attending on God. There are many different depictions of cherubs and those relate to their different roles in supporting God. The original duty of the cherubs was the protection of the Garden of Eden. Apparently they failed miserably at that task. These two cherubs appear to have been on holidays.

It was my fifth oil painting and I was still practicing. This time there was some colour introduced to the subject. - a big step up from the mainly monochromatic clay sculptures. This painting hung in the entry of my parents place for decades.
 For this and much more art...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

#0010 "Mandolin Player"

From January and February 1971...
Apparently Mario liked sculpting musicians. This mandolin player was a creation of Mario Airomi as well. I imagine that he witnessed this scene and others that he created during his time in Florence Italy. A mandolin is a stringed musical instrument in the lute family and is usually plucked with a plectrum or "pick". The one scuplted is the most common with four courses of doubled metal strings tuned in unison (8 strings). There are five (10 strings) and six (12 strings) mandolins as well. It is the soprano member of a family that includes the mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello and mandobass. Apparently popular Italian mandolin players travelled through Europe teaching and giving concerts and some certainly visited Florence the capital of Italy's Tuscany region and the home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture.

It was my fourth oil painting and I was still practicing. There are many colours and tones even in something that looks monochromatic. I was still learning.

I was 17 and was in Grade Twelve at the Brockville Collegiate and Vocational School - BCIVS. On the side I was cutting grass all around Brockville and wearing out the lawn mowers that my Dad purchased. I had ten to fifteen clients and the grass business growing and kept me going.
 For this and much more art...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

#0008 "Snake Charmer"

Step number 8 was a very short one from Waypoint 7...
This pungi player was painted from a sculpture created by Mario Airomi. Mario did not sculpt the snake that the man was supposedly charming out of a wicker basket. I had to research what the name of the clarinet looking instrument might be. Apparently it is a wind instrument made from a dried bottle gourd. Mario was also a master at sculpture.

This was my second oil painting and I was still practicing. I will be always practicing. Painting is all about learning about your materials and you can only do that through trial and error and lots of it. Mario felt it was time for me to move on from charcoal sticks and paper. Even though the palette was very limited there are scores of tones and colours in the clay.

I would have just turned 17 and was in Grade Eleven at the Brockville Collegiate and Vocational School - BCIVS. On the side I was cutting grass all around Brockville and wearing out the lawn mowers that my Dad purchased. I had ten to fifteen clients and the grass business was growing.
 For this and much more art...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

#0007 "Accordion Player"

This was step number 7 along my artistic journey from 1970. Being summer holidays I was probably painting more than just on Saturday at Mario Airomi's Studio...
This musician was painted from a sculpture created by Mario Airomi. It was my very first oil painting. He felt it was time to move on from charcoal sticks and paper. Mario laughingly chided me for counting the folds in the accordion. They are painted exactly as I saw them. My painting has the exact same number as the original.

I would ride my bike along the Kings Highway east of Brockville in order to arrive near 9 am. The door to Mario and Lily's cottage would be open and I would quietly go in and leave my shoes by the door. The spot were I painted was to the right as you went through their bedroom and into the studio. Their home was small and every room served multiple purposes. I painted in the corner beside the larger arch that led into a storage area for art and then into the sun room where Mario painted.

My routine was to locate the sculpture and place it on a small table to the right of the easel that Mario had out for me. There was a light to shine on the subject matter. I would mix up some paint and spend the next two hours working on a square inch of canvas trying to get it right. That is when you really learn how to mix and match colours. For me it was a slow process but every minute was a learning experience. Mario would stroll by and offer suggestions. There were other kids there as well but we all had our own work to do and there was not much talking. At the time I did not realize how fortunate I was to be quietly taught classically by a master.

I would have just turned 14 and was in Grade Eleven at the Brockville Collegiate and Vocational School. - BCIVS.
 For this and much more art...


Monday, May 21, 2018

#0110 "The Byrn's Barn"

From the fall of 1981...
This was Mr Byrn's barn on Howe Island, Ontario looking southeast in the mid afternoon one day in late September 1981. Notice the Hereford in front has a fairly large calf still nursing. This painting is mated with #0111 "The Byrn's Homestead" which has Mr Byrn's cat in it.

I would have painted this in the Millwoods condo in Edmonton while learning about the meteorology of Alberta.
 For this and much more art...

Sunday, May 20, 2018

#0079 "Summer Shadows"

From the summer of 1978...
This is a pallet knife painting of a quiet pool in the very beautiful Kejimkujik National Park Nova Scotia during the summer of 1978. The rapid feeding the pool was the white water in the middle top of the scene. I was experimenting with different ideas and approaches to painting. There were a few brush strokes as well but not many.

I was still learning about the weather of the Maritimes and as much as I could about real meteorology at CFB Shearwater. This happened to be a fog free day in mid summer. Never stop learning...

I would have painted this in the guest bedroom on the southwest corner of our apartment in the Woodlawn Mall area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My studio was in the extreme corner and the sewing area on the opposite wall when guests were not visiting.

I was still signing my name big and bold in the fashion of my mentor Mario Airomi.
 For this and much more art...

Saturday, May 19, 2018

#0088 "Autumn Fields"

A memory from 1978... and Nova Scotia.
It was a quiet morning just before noon along a lane in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia during the fall of 1978. The lane was just east of our apartment in Woodlawn Mall. The weather in the fall of the year is typically terrific in the Maritimes. This scene no longer exists.
 For this and much more art...

Friday, May 18, 2018

#0111 "The Byrn's Homestead"

Another memory from 1981...
The Byrn's homestead on Howe Island near Gananoque Ontario looking northwest in the mid afternoon, one day in late September 1981. Notice his cat on the front step enjoying the afternoon sun while it lasted. This painting is mated with #0110 "The Byrn's Barn" which also has animals in it.
 For this and much more art...

Thursday, May 17, 2018

#0117 "The Rusty Wagon at Byrn's Farm"

Step number 117 from 1982...
This was a old kid's wagon long discarded at the Byrn's Farm on Howe Island, Ontario. It had been there a long time when I first saw it in September of 1981. The nostalgic nature of the scene touched me. I did not arrange a thing.

I would have painted this in the basement guest room of our home at 167 Lockview Road, Fall River, Nova Scotia.
 For this and much more art...

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

#0091 "Cabin in the Clearing"

Step number 91 along my artistic journey...

This is an abandoned pioneer log cabin on Newboro Lake Road near Crosby, Ontario as seen in the summer of 1979. Someone worked very hard with very simple tools to make this structure a home. I am not sure if it is still there but will make a point of looking for it.

An important aspect of art is to record everyday life as it exists for posterity. Things and activities that form the mosaic of life that are common in one generation may become extinct for the next. If you paint something that is already on the verge of disappearing this important cataloguing of life becomes even more obvious. For a while I did just that and searched out history that still existed and preserved it on canvas. The pioneering way of life of living on and with the land is gone.

I would have painted this in the studio in the corner of the guest bedroom in our condo in Millwoods, Edmonton, Alberta. I never stopped painting even as I was learning the meteorology of Alberta.
 For this and much more art...
For a while I was disguising the date when a painting was completed. People only seemed interested in the most recent painting. If a work was dated then it soon became old stuff. If a painting was not dated then it could always be fresh off the easel. Crazy. I stopped doing this silliness very quickly. It really does not or should not matter when or where a painting was completed. A work of art either works and sings to you or it does not. Time and space are relative. I discovered that I really am dyslexic and as I get older it might be getting worse which is actually good for my art. 


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

#0086 "Misty Bayswater"

Another memory from the fall of 1979...

This was a very foggy summers day at Bayswater, Nova Scotia very near to Hubbards during the spring of 1979.The coastal waters would have still been very cold and almost any warm air mass would have been moist enough to have a dew point exceeding that chilly temperature by three degrees Celsius.

The dew point analysis when combined with the sea surface temperature chart was the key to predicting when and where the advection fog would develop. Once the fog banks were formed it would drift capriciously with the breezes seeming to come and go at will. The diurnal ocean and land breezes would get involved in the fog game as well. There were also physical processes working to dissipate the fog such as subsidence or downslope or heating from the ground or the circulations generated from solar radiation. Other forces opposing those above would result in the fog getting thicker. The meteorologist job was to predict which of these processes would dominate and what the effects on the fog banks might be in advance of that happening. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the weather. Never stop learning...

The rocky outcrops of Bayswater were littered with the shells of countless crustaceans dropped by the gulls. The birds are clever enough to know just how high they must take their meals so that the drop with the sudden stop on the rock would be enough to break them open.

I rarely paint with a palette knife but this is the exception.

I would have painted this in the guest bedroom of the condo in Mill Woods, Edmonton Alberta. We had moved from Nova Scotia so that I could pursue the Masters of Meteorology Program with some of the very well respected professors at the University of Alberta.
 For this and much more...

Monday, May 14, 2018

#0000 "The Glass Goat"

From the summer of 1967... a lifetime ago.
This is my very first charcoal drawing with Mario Airomi. It was a glass goat that he had on his shelf. On my first day, my parents just wanted me to draw and get Mario's honest opinion if I should bother coming back the next Saturday morning. The lessons were two dollars for two hours from 9 am to 11 am more or less. Dad was doing some work on the one room cottage of Lilly and Mario and that is how I first started to take art lessons. I would continue painting with Mario until he passed on in1976. It got so he just wanted me to come to paint whenever I wanted. He called me Pheeel. He confided to my parents that I was his favourite pupil. I was in Grade 7 and still stuttering along. Mario was my friend and mentor and I was incredibly fortunate to have this master from Florence Italy start me on my way..

This sketch is numbered as zero and I suppose it is the starting place for my artistic journey. I had drawn and sketched from when I could hold a pencil but to my knowledge none of that has survived. I had not actually taken a step yet but was about to under Mario's guidance. One starts with charcoal on paper and learn the meaning of value. Colour was still in the distant future.

On the back of the paper is a faint charcoal drawing of person from the nose down to the chest. Nothing is ever wasted and apparently this paper had seen a previous life.
 For this and more art along the way of my artistic journey...

Sunday, May 13, 2018

#0027 "Rosebuds"

Step number 27 on my artistic and science journey from the autumn of 1975..
These rosebuds were for Linda in the months after we were married. My Dad always brought home flowers on Friday after work. I should have kept that practice going. Perhaps I felt that I could not contribute to the premature surmise of a something beautiful before its time.

We were still both at Queens completing the fourth year of our degrees. Apparently I still made time to paint. I was interested to try to capture the way dew drops appeared on flowers. This effort was my very first attempt. Just dew it.

The answer was to simply paint what you see and to remember that everything is composed merely of shapes, tones, colour and texture. If you record what you see then the image must be correct even if you might not understand the optics and rules of reflection and refraction. Nature does all of the mathematics and physics for you. It was not quantum mechanics or rocket surgery.

I would apply these very same principles plus size in the analysis and diagnosis of both satellite and radar images when I was hired just a few months later by Atmospheric Environment and Services (AES). AES was later incorporated into Environment Canada. Atmospheric processes produce characteristic moisture patterns that reveal many details about the scale, intensity and impacts of the phenomena. The size, shape and sharpness of any boundary in the atmosphere further reveals the contrast between differing processes. The science of deformation zones was being born even in 1975. It occurred to me that the study of emerging observations made by both radar and satellite was the very same as my examination of how dew drops appeared on a rose. These thoughts and concepts were still blooming in 1975 but clearly art and science were the same thing.

Looking back I forget where my studio was at the Van Order Drive married students apartments in Kingston. It was probably the kitchen table using my aluminum easel. I also do not recall when I found time to paint but I must have. The physics courses were certainly not trivial.
 For these roses and much more...

Saturday, May 12, 2018

#0074 "Daisy Bouquet"

This is a group of roadside daisies near Bayswater, Nova Scotia during fog season in June 1978. This bouquet caught my eye when I stopped to look for the scene that would become #0076 "Tranquil Shore".
To some daisies are like dandelions. In fact the oxeye daisy is not a native wildflower in British Columbia and thus an invasive specie. There are at least 200 varieties of daisies. Even if the daisies are eaten as many as 40% of the seeds consumed by cattle remain viable after passing through the digestive tract. Further tests have shown that 82% of buried seeds remained viable after six years and one percent were still viable after 39 years. With resiliency like this the daisy which originated in Europe and introduced to North America in the 1800s is here to stay. It might be best to look at daisies like dandelions as flowers. In fact most if not all weeds are just flowers growing where people might not want them. ,

This is one of my Brother Jim's favourite paintings. He says it makes him feel happy in the morning. Art can do that kind of thing.
 For this and much more art...

Friday, May 11, 2018

#0076 "Tranquil Shore"

From late in 1978... my goodness how the years have passed.
This quiet scene was near Bayswater, Nova Scotia during fog season in June 1978. I was intrigued by the reflections, the refractions and the fog. The coastal highway was just over the hill. The tide was out but the advection fog was in.

We were exploring our adopted province every chance we had. Nova Scotia was truly beautiful and unique. I was still learning lots about how the weather really worked... especially fog.

I would have painted this in the guest bedroom on the southwest corner of our apartment in the Woodlawn Mall area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My studio was in the extreme corner and the sewing area on the opposite wall when guests were not visiting.
 For this painting and much more art...

Thursday, May 10, 2018

#0062 "Mary Ann Falls on the Cabot Trail"

Step number 62 on my artistic journey from 1977... I do not think we owned a TV  so I painted a lot...
This is a view of Mary Ann Falls during the summer of 1977. Mary Ann Falls is on the northeastern shore of Cape Breton and is well worth the drive. The exit off the Cabot Trail is signed for both Warren Lake and Mary Ann Falls. The parking area is about 6.5km away along the dirt road. During the winter, the trails surrounding the area are groomed for cross country skiing.

We were exploring our adopted province every change we had. Nova Scotia was truly beautiful and unique. I was still learning lots about how the weather really worked...

I would have painted this in the guest bedroom on the southwest corner of our apartment in the Woodlawn Mall area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My studio was in the extreme corner and the sewing area on the opposite wall when guests were not visiting.
 For this painting and so much more.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

#0067 "Lazy Summer Rowboat"

This was an inviting rowboat tied up to a dock in Chester, Nova Scotia in the early summer of 1978. The coastal waters would have still been very cold and almost any warm air mass would have been moist enough to have a dew point exceeding that chilly temperature by three degrees Celsius. But there was no coastal advection fog and the ocean was calm. The South Shore of Nova Scotia was especially beautiful. I liked how the sunlight sparkled through the holes in the wharf. This was also a very well maintained row boat.

I was still learning about the weather of the Maritimes and as much as I could about real meteorology. The science of fog was still elusive even if there had been a few successful forecasts. Never stop learning...

I would have painted this in the guest bedroom on the southwest corner of our apartment in the Woodlawn Mall area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My studio was in the extreme corner and the sewing area on the opposite wall when guests were not visiting.
 For this and much more art...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

#0057 "Ketch Harbour"

Step number 57 on my artistic journey took me to the Atlantic...

This is a view along the Purcell's Cove Road just southeast of Halifax during the summer of 1977. It was a sunny day with no advection fog.
I struggled with what to do with the foreground. The focus for me were the details of the rocks. I expect they are still there as we saw them on our Sunday drive. This panel started as a standard 16 by 24 inch panel but lost and inch on the bottom. The foreground was not speaking to me so it left.

I was still learning about the weather of the Maritimes and as much as I could about real meteorology. Fog taught something new every time it developed. The three degree surplus of dew point above the sea surface temperature was an easy lesson in the formation of advection fog. The diurnal forces that sculpted fog and the strength of the onshore and offshore winds were much more complicated. I often watched the fog waft in and out over the Shearwater runways. Just when I thought I had it figured out the fog would teach me a new trick. The air crews were patient with my fumbling attempts to forecast fog knowing that I was really trying my best. In their experience they probably knew much more about fog than I ever would. I resisted the much easier approach of waiting for the fog to play its hand and then forecast it. Never stop learning...

I would have painted this in the guest bedroom on the southwest corner of our apartment in the Woodlawn Mall area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My studio was in the extreme corner and the sewing area on the opposite wall when guests were not visiting.
 For this and much more art...

Monday, May 7, 2018

#0089 "Off-Season"

From 1978...
This looked like an abandoned lobster pot at Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia in the winter of 1978-1979. The strong winds that frequent the coast might have blown it off the nearby stack of lobster traps. Things like that happen when there is a lot of weather. However I had carefully lifted this lobster pot from the stack beside the fishing hut. I did not wish to paint a thousand lobster traps. After taking a few pictures I placed it back on top. A fisherman was parked in his idling pick-up truck just down the lane and watched me carefully as I examined it. I think he was afraid that I intended to steal it. I only wanted to look at it. This painting was the result.

This is another look at the same lobster pot that I painted in #0065 "Abandoned in the Snow". The lighting and orientation are very different. I rarely if ever paint the same thing twice.

I would have painted this in the guest bedroom on the southwest corner of our apartment in the Woodlawn Mall area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. That studio was in the process of being turned into a nursery.

I was still quite enjoying the weather of the Maritimes and learning as much as I could about real meteorology. Real cloud patterns and precipitation do not result from from intersections of Venn diagrams. Real weather was much more complicated that mathematical constructs. Imagery from satellites were just becoming available every now and again. I could see that these offered the future to finding the simplicity of real weather from the apparent complexity. Never stop learning...
 For this and much more art...

Sunday, May 6, 2018

#0044 "Harvest's Over"

This was artistic journey step number 44 from the winter of 1976-1977. This would have been painted in the apartment at 155 Antibes Drive in Toronto while I was on Meteorological Orientation Course 33. That was where I was first exposed to the wonder of the weather and meteorology. My favourite nuclear physics professor  remarked "why would you want to do that Phil?" He really wanted me to go to Grad School and then to Chalk River. You can only ride one horse at a time and the weather was certainly a different animal from what I had been doing. I walked across country to the headquarters of the Atmospheric Environmental Service Headquarters on Dufferin Street for the daily classes.
This is a somewhat deserted barn and lane way somewhere on the Bruce Peninsula, Ontario... I was lost. A neighbouring farmer was still taking the hay off the land. The roof of the house was starting to sag. The farmer who built the fence went really heavy on the cedar posts for the all important corner. They knew what they were doing in order to make it last.

The thin veil of cirrostratus heralded a summer low pressure area. It was a good time to get the hay into the barn. It looks a though the farmer had succeeded or maybe it was Sunday and that is a good day to rest.

If you are out on a Sunday drive and do not want to get lost, my Dad would always say not to go through the back of a stop sign. I did... and got somewhat lost. This was long before the advent of GPS navigation.
 For this and much more art...

Saturday, May 5, 2018

#0060 "Long-tailed duck"

This is step number 60 on my artistic journey from he winter of 1977-1978. This would have been painted in the guest bedroom of our apartment at Woodlawn Mall in Dartmouth Nova Scotia between my meteorological shifts.
The long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) was historically known as oldsquaw for the sound of its call. It is a medium-sized sea duck. Sadly it is the only living member of its genus, Clangula.

Their breeding habitat is in tundra pools and marshes but also along sea coasts and in large mountain lakes in the North Atlantic region, Alaska, northern Canada, northern Europe, and Russia. The nest is built using vegetation and is lined with down and is located on the ground near water. They are migratory and winter along the eastern and western coasts of North America, on the Great Lakes, coastal northern Europe and Asia, with stragglers to the Black Sea. Surprisingly the most important wintering area is the Baltic Sea, where a total of about 4.5 million gather. The long-tailed duck is gregarious and forms large flocks in winter and during migration. They feed by diving for mollusks, crustaceans and some small fish. Although they usually feed close to the surface long-tailed ducks can dive to depths of 60 m (200 feet). According to the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds they can dive to 80 fathoms (146 meters or 480 feet). They are the only ducks that use their wings to dive, which gives them the ability to dive much deeper than other ducks.

I take great pleasure in learning the nature of whatever I paint. This is were science and art really come together. The long-tailed duck is certainly a beautiful bird and I hope they out survive mankind. Did I write that out loud?
 For this and much more art...

Friday, May 4, 2018

#2082 "Singleton Summer Shower"

A cloud from the summer of 2017... the summer of 2018 is right around the corner. Practicing in the studio for the plein air work that is coming...
There was a very large towering cumulus on the western horizon. The rain was certainly pounding down and possibly soaking some cut hay or raining on someone's parade. Such are the risks of scattered afternoon showers in an unstable summer air mass. Somebody certainly got wet but not everyone. Most people would not even realize that showers where in the area. The probability of precipitation forecast was also certainly less than 50 percent. Every forecast is a gamble in a fashion. I wrote a lengthy scientific paper on the real meaning and application of POP, the probability of precipitation forecast as it is determined by the space and time of the prediction and also the meteorology of the event. I suppose that it was too complicated and most people just reverted to the simple correlations between the POP number and the typical words used to describe the probability of getting wet. Oh my...

Farmers need a proper and scientific measure of the probability that their crops might get wet. POP is not the answer for them. I have some ideas though. I recall an irate farmer who called to talk to a meteorologist at the Ontario Weather Centre with a suggestion on where he would like to shove 50 acres of very wet hay. It was not my forecast.

I have painted this scene many times but every day is different. The weather and lighting is certainly unique for each day.

I used a lot of paint on this very rough panel. It was fun on a rainy day.
 For this and much more art...

#0148 "Nelson and Eleanor"

Yes... I do portraits... but not many.
These portraits were composed from separate sittings and then married into one portrait as a surprise for their 40th Wedding Anniversary on May 4th, 1986. I am afraid that I overworked it a bit! Perfection can be over-rated. There was a lot of very subtle variations in tone and colour and I tried to capture them all. I probably should have let some of those details go. I do not attempt many portraits.

This was painted in the upstairs guest room of our home on Western Avenue in Schomberg Ontario. The studio under the stairs was much too dark and lacked the proper lighting.
 For this and much more...

Thursday, May 3, 2018

#0015 "Bufflehead"

This was the 15th and next step on my artistic journey after  #0014 "Hooded Merganser"... from the fall of 1973. The first year of Physics at Queens and working full time during the summer did not leave much if any time to paint.
The Bufflehead actually breeds in the boreal forest North America. This very perky duck is the smallest diving duck. It is so small that it nests in the holes of the Northern Flicker. There are a lot of such holes so finding a nesting site is not too hard. Buffleheads will also nest in boxes.

Bufflehead breeding habitat is dominated by ponds and small lakes, where the birds dive for insect larvae and small crustaceans. In winter buffleheads migrate to salt water coasts and feed on crustaceans and molluscs in shallow water bays and inlets. Buffleheads are almost exclusively monogamous and will keep the same mate for several years. Females are also faithful to their natal and breeding areas and will reuse the same nest site year after year.

We see them mainly during spring migration when they are one of the first ducks to head north.
 For this and much more...

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

#0014 "Hooded Merganser"

This was my 14th step along my artistic journey from the summer of 72... Every painting is an opportunity to learn. I would have painted this after my first year in Phusics at Queens using an aluminum easle on the dining room table. I still have and use that easel.
Hooded mergansers are perky little birds with a very extravagant crest. They breed in forested wetlands throughout the eastern half of North America and the Pacific Northwest. They will also use nest boxes like wood ducks. The ducklings leave the nest with a bold leap of faith to the forest floor when they only one day old. Sometimes the nesting cavity is 50 feet above the ground so it is quite a leap. The hen checks the area around the nest and calls to the nestlings from ground level to encourage them to make the leap.

Mergansers dive for fish, crayfish, and other food, seizing it in their thin, serrated bills. Mergansers hunt by sight and actually change the refractive properties of their eyes to improve their underwater vision. They also have an extra transparent eyelid to protect the eye like a pair of simming goggles.

Hooded Mergansers often lay their eggs in other females' nests. This is called "brood parasitism" and is similar to the practice of Brown-headed Cowbirds, except that the ducks only lay eggs in nests of their own species and sometimes wood ducks. Female Hooded Mergansers can lay a dozen eggs in a clutch but nests have been found with up to 44 eggs in them.

The oldest recorded Hooded Merganser was a male and at least 14 years, 6 months old when he was shot in Mississippi in 2009. He had been banded in Minnesota in 1995.
 For this and much more art...

#2198 "August Showers"

Wednesday August 8th, 2018 was a very similar day to Friday November 2nd, 2018 when I actually painted this skyscape. It had been raining...